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Full text of "Discourse in commemoration of the life and labors of Rev. George Cooper Gregg, pastor of Salem Church, Sumter District, S. C., delivered in said church on Sabbath, Jan. 19, 1862"

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Pbotsssor of Biblioal LiraRATUBB, Thsolooical Seuinabt, Columbia, S. C, 



George Washington Flowers 
Memorial Collection 














^ n ♦ >■ ^ 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2010 with funding from 
Duke University Libraries 


January 22, 1862. 
Rkv. George Howk, D.D. : 

Dear Sir : Appreciating the merits of the sermon you preached on last Sab- 
bath, (the 19th of January,) in commemoration of the death of our late respected 
and beloved Pastor, the Rev. G. C. Gregg, in which you so fully portrayed his 
Christian character, and believing that the character of such a man should be held 
up to the Church as a bright and shining light, the Congregation held a meeting, 
and passed the following resolutions unanimously : 

" That the Rev. Dr. Howe be requested to furnish the Congregation with a copy 
of his sermon on tlie death of the Rev. G. C. Gregg, for publication. 
" "That W. E. Mills, Samuel Cooper and Dr. J. A. Mayes are appointed a com- 
mittee to request Dr. Howe to furnish a copy for publication, and to have it pub- 

The undersigned, in accordance with the duty assigned them, now very respect- 
fully solicit a copy of your sermon for publication, and hope that you will comply 
with their request. 



Columbia, Feb. 24, 1862. 
To Messrs. W. E. Mills, Samuel Cooper, J. A. Mayes, Committee : 

I trust you will forgive me, that in my deep sorrow I have failed to reply earlier 
to your letter communicating the request of the Salem Congregation for the pub- 
lication of my sermon in commemoration of your late Pastor. The consolations 
which I attempted to draw from the story of Bethany for their good, return into 
my own bosom in the sad bereavement which has come so soon to me and to my 
house. So, through the track of ages, God's people are called to suffer. In their 
homes a beloved Lazarus lies dead, and the voice of Jesus is heard — " I am the 
Resurrection and the Life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet 
shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." 

I have been much indebted to others for the particulars of the life and labors of 
your lamented Pastor, and, with suitable acknowledgements to them, place the 
manuscript at your disposal. 

With great respect, 

Yours very truly, 



Jesus saith unto her, I am the Itesui^ection, and the Life. 
lie that helieveth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he 
live ; and "whosoever liveth and helieveth in me shall never 
<?i"e.— (John xi., 25,26.) 

TliGse words are taken from that beautiful history of the 
Resurrection of Lazarus, which dropped, like the dew of tlie 
morning from the flowers of spring, softly, and full of sympathy, 
from tlie pen of John, the one of all the Twelve the quickest 
to feel the sorrows of others. He was the readiest, also, to 
appreciate the human and the Divine in the love of the Son 
of God, into whose depths he penetrated the farthest, but 
whose abysses he did not pretend to fathom. It is a lovely 
picture of domestic peace he spreads before us. " Behold how 
good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in 
unity!" Like the precious and fragrant ointment which 
descended from the head on the beard of Aaron, is the confid- 
ing love of brothers and sisters, is all that dutiful and engag- 
ing conduct seen around the domestic hearth, in a family in 
which there are no bickerings, among those who are of one 
flesh and blood, who have drank from one breast, and have 
one and the same fortune in life. In this quiet family of 
Bethany Jesus had often been. It was his habitual refuge 
from the din and jostling crowds of Jerusalem ; from its 
ambition ; its greed ; its hollow pretence of zeal for God ; its 
malignant Priests and Pharisees; its proud, narrow-minded, 
scowling and angry Scribes. 

"Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus." 
Abiding, eternal honor this to that peaceful house, tliat happy 
isle amid the raging sea. He loved them all, difl'ei-ent though 


tliey were — the busy, bustling Martha, the meek and thoughtful 
Mary, the numly Lazarus, to whom they clung, their sole 
stay and defender among men. Domestic scenes were his 
deliglit. He cauglit children in his arms and blessed them ; 
he wrought his firet miracle at a marriage feast, amid a rejoic- 
ing family ; and his last in this one now filled with anguish. 
The youngest, freshest blossom of the three withers, Lazarus, 
the brother of Mary and Martha, is sick. 

They see and realize the danger, and bethink themselves of 
their mighty friend, whose power they had heard of, and, per- 
haps, had witnessed. He is at Bethabara, gone. thither for 
safety. They send a simple message to him : " Lord, behold 
he whom thou lovest is sick," They ask nothing, entreat 
nothing, and yet say everything — the act itself speaks con- 
fidence, love, humble meekness, urgent sense of their need. 
He whom thou lovest is suflering, is sick, very sick; he 
suifers, and we also. Shall he suffer? Shall he die whom 
thou lovest, and we lose our brother, and thou thy friend? 
Wliat confidence! What friendship on both sides! What 
meek humility and anxious sorrow on theirs ! He could save, 
save even from death. He would soon be there. 

And so they comforted themselves, and strove to comfort 
him, their brother. As they wiped the cold sweat from his 
brow, or urged him to patience under suffering, they were 
assured that Jesus would soon be there. Did he not heal the 
centurion's servant, and the courtier's son, and would he now 
delay? No, he will assuredly come. Perhaps he is near 
already, though we hear not his footsteps. And so did they 
encourage themselves and their brother — so mingled their 
cup of sorrow with drops, if we may so say, of hope, through 
all his mortal agony, till he expired, 

AVhat a trial to their faith ! It might be that he could not 
come. But he might have spoken one word of command. He 
might have quietly willed the cure ; and, from the recesses of 
his power, there would have gone forth healthful vigor to the 
dying man, he would have stood again upon his feet, 
like the mother-in-law of Peter, filling the house at Bethany 
with his ministries of love, and the hearts of the sisters with 

irrepressible joy. But alas ! he lias succumbed to the power 
of death, and lies motionless and unconscious before their 
weeping eyes. 

Their messenger, also, had now returned, and bore to their 
ears, it may be, those mysterious words, now clad in deeper 
mystery: "Tliis sickness is not unto death, but for the glory 
of God, tliat the Son of God might bo glorified thereby." How 
seemingly inconsistent this! And how mysterious the juxta- 
position of the words, " Now Jesus loved Martha, and her 
sister, and Lazarus. When he heard, therefore, that he was 
sick, he abode two days still in the place where lie was." And 
yet, how do these seeming difficulties disa]>pear when we 
remember who and what He was who speaks. He looked 
through the future. He saw, in one glance, the resurrection 
of his much loved friend following close upon liis death ; and 
this death, and all its pains, swallowed up in God's greater 
glory, and the joy of the sufferer. His pains and agonies were 
but the birtli-pangs of a new existence ; the transition to a 
mighty deliverance ; the preparation for moments of surpass- 
ing joy. In His view, whose proper dwelling place, even 
though incarnate on the earth, was in heaven itself, who 
inhabits eternity, to whom time and space are nothing, the 
future was beheld as accomplished, the incomplete finished, 
sickness, death and decay overcome, and immortality and 
glory gained. If Lazarus lies there sick, if lie agonizes and ex- 
pires, if his sisters stand wringing their hands, and hope in vain 
till hope is exhausted, his sickness is not unto death, but unto 
life, and unto the glory of God. Exalted, clear-sighted glance 
of that God-head, wliich surveys all, wills all, and beholds all 
complete and glorious in the eternity before us ; to which sick- 
ness, pain and dying beds are but the needful steps that 
bear us from a world of sin to realms of light and beauty ! Oh, 
if one glimpse of this vision — the merest ray of this glory 
could enter the soul of the suffering one who lies forsaken in 
his hour of gloom, the heavens dark above him, chained to 
tliis now of his anguish, and incapable of reaching forward to 
the distant future — if he could lift himself up to the view of 
the coming glory, which is always present to the mind of the 


Eternal One, how would his heart be comforted and his tears 
be wiped away ! 

" This sickness is not unto death," said Jesus, yet he did die. 
Had he then deceived them ? Or had he been mistaken ? 
Ko, he knew all. Ho liad jtlanned all ; and, through what we 
call death, would he give to Lazarus life, not to the body only, 
but life and blessedness to the soul. " He loved Martha, and 
her sister, and Lazarus," tlie dying and the surviving ones, and 
meant their good. Yet did he not hasten to them, nor speak 
the life-giving word. Because he loved them, he waited two 
days till hope had expired, and man's extremity was come. 

To his disciples, he now announces the event : " Lazarus, our 
f'nend, sleepeth." Beautiful would it have been as an inscrip- 
tion over his last resting place, " Lazarus, our fi'iend^'' your 
friend, and my friend. Precious words to fall from the lips of 
God's only Son, whom Angels worship, our Brother too, and 
sympathising one — " Lazarus, our friend, sleepethP Beautiful 
euphemism for the death of a believer. Sleep and death are 
brothers. Each is a gentle and certain transition to life. As 
in the one, so in the other, the outward only becomes inac- 
tive. Sleej) is an ebbing of the powers of life to return again 
in new freshness and vigor, a wonderful and mysterious, but 
kind arrangement for enjoying another day. The mind ceases 
not, but is refreshed still for new activity, and the body pre- 
pared with new power to do its bidding. We dread not sleep, 
though it locks up our senses, for we know that without it we 
are incapable of the refreshment and joy which morning 
brings, and unfit for the duties still required. So, without 
death — it is the ordinance of Heaven — we will not be ready 
for that newness of life which soul and body are to enjoy 
together. " Lazarus, our friend, sleepeth ; but I go that 1 may 
awake him out of sleep." " That I may awake him !" How 
appropriate ! how gentle the word! Thou sleepest, Brother of 
Jesus, and deep is thy slumber, narrow thy chamber, and 
low lies thy form in the dust. But from the distance ap- 
proaches the step, though by thee unheard, of Him who has 
the keys of death and of hell ; of Him who spake on the morn 
of the creation ; and it was done. The hour will soon be here 

when His voice shall be heard above thy grave : " Lazarus, my 
friend, the mornin*:; is breaking, awake from thy sleep ! 
awake ! " 

His disciples understood him not. And he was obliged to 
speak plainly the hard word : " Lazarus is dead." " And I 
am glad, says he, for your sakes, that I was not there, to the 
intent that ye may believe ;" believe with a liiglier faith when 
ye shall see my wondrous power, and believe, also, in the 
Resurrection of the Saints at the last day. 

He arrives at Bethany, near Jerusalem, finds that Lazarus 
had lain in the grave four daj^s already, and that there were 
many Jews, who had come from the city to comfort the 
mourners, and who were to be witnesses of his deed. He enters 
not the house, but tarries outside the town, nearer to the 
place of burial. The bus}'^, active Martha knew of his coming ; 
the heart-broken Mary sat retired, absorbed in grief, and unsus- 
picious as yet of the rumor of his arrival. Martha approaches, 
and says : " Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brotlier had 
not died." These might have been construed as words of 
re])roach. If tliou hadst done tliis or that, if thou hadst taken 
the little trouble to liasten hither, the dead would have lived ; 
this great misfortune would not have occurred. Bat not in 
sucli a temper were these words uttered. Not in such a spirit 
were they repeated by the gentle Mary, who, hearing tliat the 
Master had come, and was calling for her, came quickly. They 
had tried all human help. Brothei", sister, friend, could not 
have saved one pang. They had waited vainly for his coming, 
like those who wait for the morning. But come he did not. 
And the bitterest drop in their cup of sorrow was that all 
this might have been prevented. Had the sickness occurred 
when he was near, or had they informed him sooner, Lazarus 
miglit 3^et have been by their side, their living brother. And 
yet, says Martha, " I know that even now," though we have 
laid him away in the grave, and decay is doing its work upon 
his once fair form — " whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God 
will give it thee." It was the utterance of faith, and yet of 
want of faith. He was prevalent in prayer, and by this could 
ohtam fi'oin God that which, if she onl}^ knew it, he could do 


08 God. "Jesus said unto her, thy brother shall rise again." 
Her tearful eye sees, her sorrowing heart perceives but dimly. 
Tlie sky is overcast ■with cloud, and a misty haze gathers 
around her. " I know that he shall rise again," said she, in 
the Resurrection, at the last day." She is dreaming of some- 
thing distant when help is near at hand. She clung with a 
merely human passion to the ol)ject of her earthly love. " I 
know," she says, " that he shall rise in the Kesurrection." But 
the day was so far oif. She must be lifted to loftier views, as 
we, also, must, and have her heart turned away to her Lord 
and Master, and absorbed in the contemplation of his power 
and love. Otherwise, if her brother were given back to life 
as a mortal man, there would be the pain of another parting 
when death claimed either liim or her as its victim. " I am 
the Resurrection," says he, in the words of the text, " and the 
Life." "I am the Resurrection," the death of death. Its 
corruption and decay are nothing to me. The power to raise 
the dead abides in me, who am present here. One day with 
me, your Lord, is as a thousand years, and a thousand years 
as one day. And this, as well as that, can be the hour of resur- 
rection to whom I please. " I am the Life," its author, and its 
source. From me flows the vital fluod through all the veins 
of the natural world, whose Creator and Sustainer I am, and 
even so do I live in all who are spiritually alive. They who 
live not in me are spiritually dead, and a rayless night 
covers their departure from earth, and they go away into 
dense and eternal darkness. " He that belicveth in me, though 
he were dead, yet shall he live ; and whosoever believeth in 
me shall uever die," By his faith in me, he shall receive a life 
over which death has no power. Even if he seem to die, he 
lives still an uninterrupted life ; the clay tenement ma}^ dissolve 
under the power of the fell destroyer, but his inner life 
remains untouched, save as it is lifted to a higher sphere, and 
flows on in inconceivable enjoyment, under the power of what 
men call death, but which, to the believer, is but a sleep till 
the morning breaks. Believest thou this, Martha ? and thou, 
wx'cping Mary? Believest ihoa this, my hearer? Believest 
thou that in Him, the Lord of Life, all the powers of life eter- 


nal centre, of lite not merely in its first creative action, but of 
life in conflict with death, destroying the grim monster's work, 
and converting it into a transition and a birth into a wide 
freedom from all sin and sorrow, into a bomidless, joyful and 
eternal life? 

" Yea, I believe," says Martha, " that thou art the Christ, 
the Son of God, which should come into the world." I 
believe, and have believed,* as far as I could, and as far as I 
knew, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, of whom our 
Prophets and Scribes have taught that he shoukl come into 
the world. I own thee as the Author of all life that animates 
the world, and I own thee as he by whom the Resurrection is 
to be accomplished, " when they that sleep in the dust of the 
earth shall awake," thy people and thy flock to " shine as the 
brightness of the firmament" — even as Daniel spoke — " and as 
the stars, forever and ever." What she thus believed, we, my 
hearers, may believe with a more instructed faith. Not only 
as he was God was he able, but as Mediator, though clothed 
with our mortal clay, has he been empowered to invade the 
realm of death, to take the prey from the mighty, and deliver 
the lawful captive. " I will ransom them from the power of the 
grave. I will redeem them from death. O, death ! I will be 
thy plagues. O, grave ! I will be thy destruction. — (Hos. 
13 : 14.) 

But behold the love and tender sympathy of our Lord. The 
broken-hearted Mary had cast herself at His feet, and with 
her bitter, yet loving cry, " Lord, if thou hadst been here, my 
brother had not died," her voice is choked with grief. It 
is the moment for tears. Tlie sadness of death overpowers 
them all. Mary weeps in uncontrollable sorrow. The Jews 
weep. Nobles they may have been. But they all weep, friends 
and enemies. Jesus Himself is moved, and His heart is 
stirred to its lowest depths. Indeed, He is a High Priest who 
can be touched with our infirmities. Mary cannot speak. 
And so it often is with the child of sorrow. But the unutter- 
able grief of the voiceless suflcrer, her prostrate and exhausted 

* rcETiiarevKa. 


form, her sense of nothingness, is the most touching prayer to 
Him who is miglity to save. Yet is it not mere sympathy 
witli which he is moved. The one case of death before liim 
brings to his view all the graves and bereaved households of 
eartli. It was the wages of that sin he came to expiate, and 
which, as to believers, was laid upon him. It was the work 
of the devil ; of liim who had tlie power of death, whom he 
came expressly to cast out and destroy, and " to deliver those 
who, through fear of death, are all their life time subject to 
bondage." It was a grief, therefore, mingled with horror and 
indignation of spirit,* at what sin had wrought, and this 
thought he pondered till he shudderedf through all his frame. 

But he advances to do battle with the conqueror of the 
human race. "Where have ye laid him," says he? "Lord, 
come and see," is their reply. The indignation he had felt at 
the blotting out of the earthly image of God now changes into 
the gentler emotion of sorrow. The simple words " come and 
see" bring before him the sad reality. Lazarus, whom he 
loved, has fallen a victim to the fell destroyer. His dust has 
gone to connningle with the dust of earth. The friend of his 
bosom lies a cold earth-clod, no more a man, no more a brother 
dwelling with us : lie lies in his lonely and narrow house, in 
the hand of God, insensible to us, awaiting like the buried 
seed-corn the morning of the Resurrection. Death has 
triumphed over him. He can refrain no longer. Ilis heart 
overflows, his eyes arc wet with weeping, till the Jews them- 
selves exclaimed : " Behold how he loved him ! " 

He ap2:)roaches the tomb, not without another outburst of 
indignant horror at the sad ravages of sin. It was but for a 
moment. " Take ye away the stone," says he, with majestic 
composure. Your hands have placed it there, your hands can 
take it away. But the sisterly voice of the anxious, careful 
Martha is heard. She cannot bear that the remains of that 
dear brother should be made offensive to others, nor that her 
Lord should go down and look on the changed countenance of 
his friend, and be revolted at it. " Said I not to thee," says 

* Ive/ipifiijaaTO tu irvev/iaxi. \ Irupa^ev iavrhv. 


the conqueror, " that if thou wouklst believe, thou shouldst see 
the glory of God ? " Then, in a wonderful prayer of thanks- 
giving, he lifts his eyes to Ileaven, thanking his Father that 
he had heard him, triumphing thus before the victory. 
Though as a Son, he learned obedience on earth, and asked 
and received ; yet, as he was God, each prayer of his human 
lips, and wish of his human soul, was the declaration of an 
eternal purpose which must be fulfilled. 

" The hour is coming," said he — at an earlier time in his 
ministry he said it — " in which all that are in their graves shall 
hear his voice, and shall come forth." That hour, at least to 
one, has come. " He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come 
forth." It was a resistless mandate. The spirit heard, and 
came from its absence to its wonted abode ; the lifeless clay 
heard ; life darted through all its members, and the vital flood 
ebbed and flowed through every vein ; the damp and decay, 
and odor of death, departed from the cheek, and the man, 
Lazarus, returned to his weeping sisters, clothed not yet with 
an immortal, but with a mortal body, the stay and staft" for a 
few years longer, the joy and light once more of the house the 
Saviour had so honored and blest. And the voice which thus 
spake, was the voice of that Redeemer who can call back to 
the body millions as well as one, who shall ILimself " descend 
from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel 
and the trump of God," to call forth the buried Saints, and to 
transform tlie living, who " shall be caught up together with 
them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air ; " to be ever 
with the Lord. " I am the Resurrection, and the Life : he 
that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live : 
and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. 
Believest thou this ? " thou sorrowing one that lidst wept and 
weepest yet over thy departed friend ? 

But this Lazarus, who was he ? He was no titled man. 
He was neither Ruler, Scribe, nor Priest, among his people. 
He. was a private person, of an honorable house, we do not 
doubt, the youngest of the three, perhaps, dear to the Lord, 
we suppose, for a noble nature and an unfaltering love 


towards his person, aud dear again, because the brother of 
Mary and Martha, whom he also loved, and who leaned upon 
this one as their stay. 

We have spoken of this household at Bethany at too great 
length, we fear, for the special purpose of bringing before yon 
that Adorable One who is the Resurrection and the Life, and 
of showing you how precious in his eyes is the death of all his 
saints. We come now, to speak of another household, which, 
though exhi1)iting other relationships, was, we hope, like that 
of Bethany, honored with the Master's presence, and held one, 
at least, whom Jesus loved. 

We come to s]ieak of him* who was a friend to you all, and 
to Jesus, our and his Master and Lord. He lived among you 
not as a private man only, nor as one who was the light and 
joy, and stay and defender of one family alone, but the cheer- 
ful and wise companion of many, and a lamp bright and shin- 
ing, which God had placed in the candlestick of his Church to 
give light to all that arc in his house. There are relations 
which he bore, of kindred and blood, as tender as those of the 
three friends of whom we spoke ; there are relations which he 
sustained to the Church militant on earth ; and there are and 
were relations to the Church triumphant above, where he is 
now gathered to be ; and there were and are relations sustained 
by him to our Lord and Head. For it pleased God, who 
separated him from his mother's womb, and called him by his 
grace, to reveal his Son in him, that he might preach him 
among men. He chose him to this end, and for it ordered the 
events of his life, and fixed the bounds of his habitation that 
he could not pass, and when the twelve hours of the day he had 
appointed him to do his work were ended, took him home to 
himself to receive his reward. 

Let me rehearse his life and character, in connection with 
the preceding history of the house in Bethany, and see if some 
of its consolations cannot flow over upon us. 

It was near forty-eight years ago, in Marion District, on the 
19th of February, 1814, that he first saw the light of the sun. It 

*Rov. Georgo Cooper Gregg. 


was on the 28tli of May, in 1861, that lie, too, fell asleep in Jesus, 
having lived on the earth forty-seven years and three months, 
closing in the midst of an admiring people and weeping 
friends, an honorable and useful life. Of tlie parents who 
guided his infant footsteps, and trained him in the admonition 
of the Lord, one, his mother, yet survives, and is present with 
us to-day. He lias readied the liaven of rest before her. She 
can say that, in his youth, he kept " his father's command- 
ment, and forsook not the law of his mother," and we can 
testify that they were, as the wise man has said, " an ornament 
of grace unto his head and chains of beauty about his neck." 
(Prov. 6 : 20 ; 1 : 8.) At seventeen years of age his school 
education, at a distance from home, appears to have com- 
menced. The Holy Spirit pressed, meanwhile, the lessons of 
parental instruction, and the truths of God's word, upon his 
heart ; and after a youth of thoughtfulness and sobriety, as he 
was approaching manhood, the decisive moment in his 
religious history came, in which he passed from death unto life ; 
from that realm of moral darkness into whicli our birth intro- 
duces us, into that realm of light and life into which regener- 
ation ushers us ; from the bondage of corruption into the sweet 
and pleasant service of a new master, Christ our Lord. In 
his twentieth year he became a member by public profession of 
the Church of Hopewell, then under the care of the Rev. Thos. 
R. English, to whom I am indebted for many of these facts. 
Soon after this, he heard the voice of the enthroned Master, 
who, when he ascended, received gifts for men, saying, 
""Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" His grateful 
and believing heart replied, " Here am I, send me ;" and he 
began, under his Pastor, those classical studies which he 
subsequently pursued elsewhere, till at the age of tweuty-two, 
when his mind was mature, he entered the College of South 
Carolina, where, after a course of successful study, continued 
through a period of three years, he was graduated in 1838. 
Tlie next three years were spent in the Theological Seminary, 
under the instructions of my venerable colleague and myself, 
and in a class of choice young men, some of whom are gone 
to their reward. Amid pleasant studies in God's holy word, 


in the society of congenial friends, who each contributed tlicir 
part to the happiness and improvement of the rest, in the 
contemplation and discussion of Divine trutli, tlie years glided 
swiftly away. The amicable conflict of mind with mind, 
the ennobling doctrines of revealed religion daily meditated, 
the cheerful intercourse with loved associates, left their traces 
on his whole after life, and established friendships still fresh 
and green now that he has departed. With the slight change 
of a word, he could have said with the Apostle, who, on one 
occasion, reverted to his own student's life : I " profited in 
the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation." 
On the 4th of July, 1841, he and his classmates left the walls 
of that sacred retreat, and went forth to labor in the Master's 
vineyard. lie had been licensed in April before, with his 
classmate, John D. Wilson, over whose early grave we might 
well bestow a tear, whose ministry, so full of promise, was so 
soon terminated, and, after a short trial as a candidate, was 
ordained and installed your Pastor on the Otli of November 
of the same year, as the successor of R, W. James, whose 
memory is still precious. Ills uninterrupted pastorship of 
more than nineteen years, in this age of ministerial change, 
the perfect harmou}' which prevailed ever between him and 
liis people, and the increasing endearment of this relation 
between you and him, are evidences how well he filled the 
ofiice, and how great was that worth which, like a magnet, 
drew you to him. As he stood up to address you, his numly 
form, his kind expression of countenance, and his warm and 
honest heart, contributed to iniju-ess you with respect for him, 
and win jowr attention to the truths he uttered. His preach- 
ing was solid and instructive, sound in doctrine, clear in state- 
ment, strong in argument, and close and unambiguous in 
application. If he did not aficct and did not attain the 
highest graces of style and manner, he was yet, especially in 
liis more elaborate eflforts, rich and varied in apt and striking 
illustrations, drawn from the wide fields which his reading 
and observation spread out before him. At such times he 
enchained the attention of his hearers by his instructive dis- 
courses, unwritten, as we are told, towards the close of his 


ministry, yet faithfully prepared, and delivered with increas- 
ing tenderness and force. 

In his intercourse with his people, of which you know far 
more than I, there doubtless was mncli that was attractive. 
His dignity and ease of manners, his sound and uid)iassed judg- 
ment, his freedom from all prejudice, his powers of conversa- 
tion, and his genial and inoifensive humor and liis kindness of 
lieart must liave won for him a place in the homes and hearts 
of men, and made his presence welcome at every hearth. 

Tliis was to have been anticipated from the promise of his 
earlier life. A friend and classmate,^' who knew him well, tes- 
tifies that he was the most deservedly popular man among his 
fellow students, which was due to the confidence reposed in his 
judgment, making his opinions valuable to all wdio stood in 
need of counsel ; due also to the equanimity of his disposition, 
for he was singularly free from those varying moods which 
disturb the equanimity of other men, and to the fact that 
though not seeking others, he was accessible to all, and never 
disappointed any ; due, still further, to that kind and gentle 
humor which was always bubbling up and pervaded his con- 
versation, lending it a charm which made him an agreeable 
companion — a humor controlled by a rare prudence, never 
taking an edge that would irritate and pain, but always kind 
and genial. The loss of such a man must be deeply felt in the 
connnuuity in which he moved. 

By none, we are told, were his labors more appreciated than 
by the colored members of his flock. Though he was fond of 
philosophic studies, and kept well abreast of the current litera- 
ture in Philosophy and Theology while he lived, he adapted 
himself with w^onderful ease to their modes of thought, con- 
veyed the rich treasures of truth, of which he had so great a 
wealth, into their untutored minds, and, knowing their temp- 
tations and frailties, and yet having confidence in them and 
respect for their character, he had the firmness to deal faith- 
fully with them, and the wisdom with all this faithfulness to 
win and not discourage those who were prone to wander. 

* Rev. Dr. Palmer, of New Orleans. 


Probably very few could compare with him in the influence 
he gained over this portion of his flock, by mingled firmness 
and kindness ; for though he never passed them without a kind 
word and a pleasant smile, yet he did not rashly receive them 
into the church, and was firm and decided in discipline when 
it was required. Many of thorn will gather around h'un in the 
New Jerusalem above, and thank the Good Slicpherd who in- 
trusted him for so many years with the care of their souls. 

Nor was his voice unheard in the house of affliction. The 
liouse of mourning more often welcomed him than the house 
of feasting. His sympathizing voice spoke consolation to the 
mourner, and drew towards him the hearts of those whom God 
had smitten. And in this was he like that Holy One who 
took upon him our griefs and carried our sorrows. 

Nor was his influence restricted to his own congregation. 
His intercourse with his brethren in the ministry was to them 
peculiarly valuable and grateful. He was social, and yet his 
opinions were never obtruded. The friend I have already 
quoted speaks of him as being the most self-contained man he 
ever knew, and though disposed to silence, and waiting to be 
challenged, yet as universally accessible, uniformly frank in 
his utterances, and singularly free from concealment. His 
mind, too, was of a high order, and his opinions on all subjects 
of Theology and Philosophy more completely formed than 
with the most of men, and in these departments he was abreast 
of the ascertained learning of the age above others. His piety 
was sincere and deep, his moral sense accurate and unerring. 
His censure was more easily borne, when it came, than that of 
others, because free from prejudice, and though it had a kind 
of judicial severity, it was never volunteered — never obtruded. 
With those qualities we have mentioned before, it is easy to 
see that his society was prized by his brethren. As a presby- 
ter among presbyters, his knowledge of the principles of our 
church polity, his acquaintance with the forms of business, and 
his instinctive perception of what each case required, gave him 
a deserved preeminence. We remember well the dignity with 
which he presided over Synod, on one occasion, as its Mode- 
rator ; the quickness with which he solved each intricate ques- 


tion of order as it arose ; his dispatch of business, and his 
quick rejection of everything, however plausibly presented, 
which would end in confusion and evil at last. His services 
were invaluable as the Stated Clerk of Presbytery, and long 
and gratefully will he be remembered for the important ser- 
vices he rendered as Agent, Director, and Clerk of the Board 
of the Theological Seminary, the laborious and responsible du-' 
ties of which last office he ].)tirformed to the satisfaction of all. 
He was ready for every good work, and resorted to for counsel 
in all our schemes of public benevolence. In the Domestic 
Missionary enterprise of his OAvn Presbytery, his wisdom, en- 
ergy and firmness were of great price. 

Of his domestic relations who shall speak ? Who shall tell 
what he was as a Husband and a Father? God had endowed 
him with a cheerful, contented disposition, and an almost en- 
tire forgetfuluess of self. There was no reasonable sacrifice 
which he would not make for the comfort and happiness of 
those dearer than life. But even in the privacy of home he 
was firm as a rock where duty was involved. His conscience, 
too, was tender, and God's glory was above all things else. 

Such was the lovely character of our departed friend. Wlieu 
the news that he was stricken with paralj^sis went forth, many 
hearts were made sad throughout the bounds of our State. In 
four months afterwards another stroke followed, and in Septem- 
ber, 1860, he tendered his resignation to your church. This 
resignation you declined to receive; but at last, convinced 
that he would labor for you no more, you sorrowfully consented 
to accept what he still pressed upon you, and the relation be- 
tween him as your pastor and yourselves as his flock was ter- 
minated by the action of Presbytery in A]H'il last. 

There was still one official act he felt called upon to perform. 
His patriot heart bled for his country's wrongs, and he deeply 
felt the impropriety of sending Commissioners to sit in the 
General Assembly to meet within the bounds of a hostile 
power at war with the Confederacy we had formed. His last 
act was to present a paper to the Presbytery of Harmony at a 
meeting called at Mt. Zion Church, to withhold Commissionerg 
from the General Assembly. 


Tlis work on earth was done. He had endured his protracted 
bodily atilictions with patience and clioerfuhicss, thou<^h he 
deeply felt the privation of his Sabbath labors among his be- 
loved people and the servants of his charge. But by grace he 
was enabled to bear up under this load of disappointment, and 
to cheer, by his almost playful disposition, the sinking hearts 
of his beloved family. Towards the close of May he was vis- 
ited with his last and fatal illness. During this he was calm 
and peaceful, relying wholly on his Saviour's righteousness, and 
ready to depart. The only pang was parting with his family, 
for whom he seemed thoughtful and concerned to the last, 
often fixing upon the objects of his dearest love a look of im- 
dying affection when he could no longer articulate a word. It 
was a scene of earthly sorrow like that at Bethany, of which 
we spoke in the earlier portion of this discourse. And when 
he passed away the Master was not on earth, working miracles 
in confirmation of his mission, and there was no voice of re- 
sistless power heard, calling our brotlier back to the troubled 
scene of earth, again to die. From all tliese liuman sorrows 
he was at once saved. The promise of our text was fulfilled. 
And it can be said of him, " our friend sleepeth," awaiting a 
more glorious morning than he ever beheld. "Whosoever 
liveth and believeth in me shall never die." He shall live on, 
in immortal life, which nothing can disturb. And though such 
an one " were dead," to use the dialect of earth, " yet shall he 
live." So declares to us to-day He who is " the Eesurrection 
and the Life." Death was to our friend, on the one hand, a 
slight and momentary pang ; on the other, it was the chariot 
which conveyed him to a happier clime, or the door M'hich 
opened from a world visited by clouds into one of eternal day. 
Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of all his saints. 
Precious even is his earthly tabernacle, though visited with 
decay. The Eedeemer keeps his vigils over the sleeping dust, 
and He that raised up Christ from the dead shall quicken our 
mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in us. 

Illustrious morning ! when the saints are raised with incor- 
ruptible bodies, and Mount Zion above is vocal with new songs 
of triumj)li ! Let the dead bury their dead in sorrow, and fu- 


neral dirges sound around their sepulchres. But when the liv- 
ing bury Our Saviour's living ones, that shall never die, let 
our hearts sing with joy at their deliverance from sin, tears 
and pain, even though we lose their society on earth. For 
they have escaped this land of sighing, and are gone where 
" they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more ; neither 
shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb 
wliicli is in the midst of the throne sliall feed tliem, and shall 
lead them to living fountains of waters : and God shall wipe 
away all tears from their eyes." 

To-morrow, perhaps, after a few to-morrows at most, we 
shall be with them, joining in tlie everlasting song, and going 
in and out in the temple not made with hands. We shall be 
united to those who have gone before. Deeply too as his ab- 
sence is now felt in the family, the church, the Presbytery, 
Synod and Assembly, he has entered the general assembly of 
tlie first-born, which are written in heaven ; has gone to that 
God who is the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men 
made perfect ; and instead of ministering here to you, has 
been worshiping these months past around the throne, and 
joining in the song, " Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to 
receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and 
honor, and glory, and blessing." 

And though another servant of God occupies this pulpit 
now, and another voice resounds around these walls, and 
another youthful David has taken his sling in hand and gone 
forth to do battle for God in your midst, forget not the pastor 
who has led 3^ou hitherto, and has gone up to his reward, nor 
allow his bereaved ones to lack the sympathy and affections of 
the people who have delighted to honor him. So shall your 
ancient church, now nearly reaching, if it has not already 
reached, the centenary of its foundation, maintain its renown 
as a body of true believers, noblemen, if we may so speak, in 
this earthl}'^ kingdom of our Lord, in whose generous and kind 
hearts all the friends of Christ and his true ministers shall ever 
find sympathy and love.